Chubby Brown, Ricky Tomlinson and Nolans say goodbye to Joe Longthorne at funeral


The singer and impressionist, originally from Hull, died in his husband’s arms on August 3 aged 64. 

Hundreds of fans also lined the seaside town’s streets today to celebrate his life. 

The procession began at his Layton home and passed venues he performed at, before arriving at Sacred Heart Church for a public service.

Fans applauded outside Hall Tavern, Winter Gardens, Grand Theatre and Viva.

The Nolan sisters Anne, Linda and Maureen were all snapped in black as they joined the crowd. 

Joe Longthorne funeral

SORELY MISSED: The Nolans dressed all in black, and Chubby Brown paid tribute at the service (Pic: SPLASH NEWS/SOUTH WALES ECHO)

Comedian Bobby Ball said of the impressionist: “He made millions of people happy. 

“He was a wonderful entertainer and we were very lucky to have him.”

Roy Chubby Brown added: “Blackpool will never be the same without Joe Longthorne.”

Actors Ricky Tomlinson and Tony Barton were also pictured during the procession, with the Royle Family actor calling him a “giant”. 

He said at the service: “He loved his fans. He wasn’t Joe Longthorne the superstar – he was Joe Longthorne, man of the people, and that for me meant a lot.”

Joe Longthorne funeral

SOMBRE: Royle Family legend Ricky Tomlinson arrives for the ceremony (Pic: SPLASH NEWS)

joe Longthorne funeral

PAYING RESPECT: X Factor contestant Christopher Maloney also made an appearance (Pic: SPLASH NEWS )

Joe Longthorne funeral

JOYOUS: Comedian Bobby Brown said he made ‘millions of people happy’ (Pic: SPLASH NEWS)

“Blackpool will never be the same without Joe Longthorne”

Roy Chubby Brown

Tributes were also read out from Barbara Windsor, Engelbert Humperdinck and Don Black.

Pal Sandra Pougher, 75, told the Hull Daily Mail: “We have known him since he was a young boy. 

“I actually looked after his grandma when she was poorly. They are a marvellous family. 

“They have done so much for charity that no one knows about.”

Another friend, Peter Ketley, 50, said: “We were really good mates and I miss him daily.”

Joe Longthorne funeral

PALLBEARERS: Joe’s coffin is carried out of Sacred Heart Church during the public service (Pic: SPLASH NEWS)

joe Longthorne funeral

POIGNANT: He died in his husband’s arms on August 3 aged 64 (Pic: SPLASH NEWS)

Joe had previously battled blood cancer in 1987, which ended with a diagnosis of chronic lymphatic lymphoma two years later.

The singer continued to work throughout his illness, but had to undergo a bone marrow transplant in 2005 when the lymphoma degenerated into leukaemia.

His health further deteriorated when he was diagnosed with mouth cancer, but he returned to work in time for his 60th birthday celebrations.

This statement was issued on the performer’s website following his death: “Joe died in his bedroom, laying in the arms of his devoted husband of 21 years Jamie, with his rosary beads clutched tight to his chest. 

“He leaves behind sister Ann and brother John.”


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